Supporting an Argument of Self Defense

The thoughts we’d like to share this month started as a discussion about the various factors we’ve observed in cases that make the news. The most evocative reports actually contain elements of self defense, but the armed citizen in question has lost the claim that he or she was the innocent party in the incident. Some fundamentals necessary to preserving your right to argue self defense can be accounted almost like a Letterman Top Ten List, but first, let’s outline the underlying and basic requirements for a legitimate claim of self defense.

How to Spoil Your Self-Defense Case

by Art Joslin, J.D., Director of Legal Services

Laws across all jurisdictions generally have three things in common when claiming self defense after using any level of force.

  1. You can’t be in the commission of a crime;
  2. You must be in a place you have a legal right to be; and
  3. You must have an honest and reasonable belief force is necessary to avoid being killed or crippled. Some states have worded these three elements a little differently, but the intent is the same.

So, how do people blow their self-defense case before they even start? Violating one of the above elements will do it for sure.

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President’s Message

Marty Hayes

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

The world is sure in a mess right now and just when you think it could not get worse, something happens to prove you wrong. For example, the U.S. economy is taking a hit, with the stock market falling, inflation rising and the price of gas and diesel going through the roof.

Then, there may be the anticipated riots to come on the heels of the US Supreme Court ruling to be released soon, overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Next, unless you have been lost in the wilderness, you have heard about the two recent mass shootings, one in Buffalo, New York, of which all accounts point to an attack against the black community in order to foment more hatred and strife in our nation, and the second just a few days ago, where a mentally-disturbed 18-year-old walked into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and killed 19 school children and several adults.

Oh, I almost forgot. The Russians invaded a sovereign nation recently, killing thousands of Ukrainians in an attempt to occupy that country, which has cast a pall over world peace.

I feel that all the foregoing gives perspective to what I have to relate to you. The Network lost its Superior Court appeal to overturn the WA State Office of Insurance Commissioner’s cease and desist order and fine.

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Attorney Question of the Month

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Half of the states have laws allowing permitless concealed carry of firearms. Before members happily let their state-issued carry permit expire, some are asking if we know of unexpected pitfalls in permitless carry. This is a great topic for discussion in our online member journal, so we reached out to our affiliated attorneys, asking their thoughts on the question. While encouraging them to go beyond our questions, we tried to start the discussion by posing the following questions: 

In general, what is your opinion of permitless carry laws?

For our Affiliated Attorneys in states with constitutional carry--

  1. Have armed citizens violated other laws by exceeding the allowances of your state’s permitless carry legislation? What problems have most frequently arisen?
  2. Are citizens keeping concealed carry licenses for reciprocal license recognition when they travel outside your state? Are there other reasons to keep your state’s carry permit?
  3. Without carry permits, how have police procedures changed when officers have contact with armed individuals?

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Book Review

Pool Cues, Beer Bottles, and Baseball Bats: Animal’s Guide to Improvised Weapons for Self-Defense and Survival

By Marc MacYoung
Third Edition, April 2021, Carry On Publishing
ISBN-13 979-8733474380
Paperback, 207 pages, $14.99

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

Marc MacYoung has been updating some of his classic books from the ‘90s, and I’ve enjoyed the newer editions a lot. Because the Network assists members with their self-defense legal expenses across a wide range of defensive situations beyond just guns, the topic of improvised weapons and their legal use in an emergency comes up from time to time. One of MacYoung’s updated volumes, Animal’s Guide to Improvised Weapons, casts a different and important light on using improvised weapons, so I’d like to bring it to your attention.

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Editor’s Notebook

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Discussions with Members

by Gila Hayes

At the risk of fanning dying embers into another inferno, I need to share the observations, comments and opinions of Network members who were troubled by some of the commentary published in our May Attorney Question of the Month. Behind questions about permitless carry as now allowed by a number of states, lurked the 1000-pound gorilla of mandated training as a prerequisite to possessing and carrying firearms.

A member, who is himself from the eastern seaboard, commented–

As someone who grew up in New York, regarding that New Jersey attorney I can say that in some of these Blue states like NY, NJ, CT, RI, even people who call themselves “Republicans” are generally just “Democrat-Lite”, there isn’t much Conservative values even in the opposing parties of these states. The reason being that obviously “mostly” anyone with true values of freedom leaves these States.

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About this Journal


The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

Do not mistake information presented in this online publication for legal advice; it is not. The Network strives to assure that information published in this journal is both accurate and useful. Reader, it is your responsibility to consult your own attorney to receive professional assurance that this information and your interpretation or understanding of it is accurate, complete and appropriate with respect to your particular situation.

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